Got Plans For Next Sunday? Part 2

A personal update, then two quotes from very valued friends.

Jason has had dizziness, headaches and double-vision, determined by CT scan to be caused by spinal fluid that isn’t flowing correctly. Tomorrow, Thursday, the first day of March, he’ll have a stent put in to correct that problem. The neurosurgeon, Dr. Ashour, who literally saved his life on January 7 by removing the large hematoma from his cerebellum, will be the surgeon. As a friend wrote, “May the Light of the Holy Spirit shine upon all of you.” Yes!

One of the joys in writing blogs is to receive feedback, often with perspectives that are not cloned to mine—may that not ever be a goal!—but who make it clear we can be united without clinging to uniformity. The first response is from a Class of 1958 high school classmate, Dave Winterholler, with whom I’ll have a meal on Good Friday in Portland. Dave is a retired TWA pilot. His comment is so uplifting, for his church doesn’t take away the arms and legs of their members.

The second quote is from one of the most respected clergy colleagues, Dr. Jo Hudson, now serving a parish [that is never spelled perish] in Dallas. Jo gets it. Dave gets it. My thanks to both for their thoughts…

As you read, how’s your next Sunday looking?

From Dave:

Excellent Blog! I have been going to the same church for 45 years. I’ve seen it split two or three times. When I started we had a membership of about 250 and now we are down to around 100 members. I totally agree with you, it’s not about filling seats, it’s about serving our God and the people. I see we are doing more with fewer than we did with a church overflowing. For decades we were nothing more than a Baptist social club. Now we’re involved with the homeless, and our community. I have told many in my Bible study groups, ” have you ever read the Marque in front of our church?” It doesn’t say “Entertainment starts at 11:00 AM, do you notice the word, “Worship Service?” It’s not about how one preaches or the drums are to loud, as Rich Warren stated in his book “Purpose Driven Life,” it’s not about you! Once again well said, we need to remind our members every once in a while.
Bless My Friend
PS: He changed the world with just twelve

From Jo:

And we might consider two things. 1) Perhaps the absence of people in worship is that we have done our job well. People have learned how to worship and serve outside the walls of the church. 2) Perhaps our focus in worship could be more on true worship, the joy of being together, the mystery of being together in the presence of God, the spiritual filling up of those present for their hard journey in the world, the words of healing that so many people need. Perhaps we then stop worrying about what we are doing and how many of us there are. Just a few of my thoughts that you spurred on this beautiful Monday morning. Thanks, and as always to you, Diane, Jason, Jackson, Aiden and Noah, great, great love. —Jo


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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